We work very hard for our money, and I like to make our money work hard for us. Here are a few things we’ve done to stretch the budget over the last few years.
We live in the semi rural south. Our central heating and cooling system is old and very inefficient. We went without AC for 2 years in the summer and just ran fans. This saved us about $100 per month, which freed up some money to pay down debt. Our electric bill rarely got over $125 in summer or winter. We unplugged everything. There is such a thing as phantom load. If you leave things like small appliances and chargers plugged in, it can cost up to 75 cents per day each. That adds up really fast.
We practice zone heating and cooling. We now have 2 window AC units, we leave parts of the house closed off and run the unit if needed for the room we’re in. We heat with small, newer ceramic heaters. We are mindful of safety features and keep batteries in the fire alarms. And if it’s 50 to 80 outside, most of the time we’re not running a heater or ac inside. We dress for the temperature.
Running the stove also uses ac lot of energy and heats up the house in the hot months. We invested in a toaster oven for summer cooking, and of course we use the crockpot.
We don’t use the dishwasher and occasionally hang up laundry to dry. We use led bulbs.